The firm will use Abbott’s RealTime HPV assay in order to validate the use of NOVAprep cytology technology in cervical cancer screening.

The HPV testing is intended to provide important information about potential HPV infection in a patient with any of the 14 high-risk HPV types.

Novacyt said that the resulting information, along with the PAP smear result, is required for managing patients with inconclusive results.

The firm expects to publish the validation study results in the next few months that will help to determine the performance of the NOVAprep technology compared to the storage vials used by other liquid based cytology systems.

Novacyt Group CEO Graham Mullis said: "We believe there is an emerging opportunity for the NOVAprep vial and medium to be used in cervical cancer screening sample preparation, cell storage and testing for both HPV and cytology testing.

"There is a critical need for a good quality sample preparation and storage system which can be universally used in the market for HPV testing across multiple HPV testing platforms.

"We see the collaboration with Abbott therefore as an example of major expansion opportunities that exist for Novacyt to develop other potential strategic partnerships with HPV platform providers."

The results are expected to demonstrate that the quality of the cervical cancer sample preparation and storage of preserved cells are critical to the performance of HPV testing, the company said.